I almost never do this, but recently I *quit* a book some 80(?) pages into it - usually I stick it out to the
I was bored to death by Anne Lamont's critically-acclaimed - Bird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing And Life.
Sure there was some practical information in this one - on how to overcome procrastination, blocks, etc. and finally write that novel one might have been threatening to publish, for years.
BUT, I found most of her spiel to be unhelpful din, the ramblings of a stereotypical, angry, destitute *writer*. I just have no respect for these clowns that think they can simply write for a living.
HELLO, you have to have some practical knowledge to impart if you ever want to get paid - appreciably anyway. The idea that the masses will pay-up for beautiful prose is not only delusional, ignorant, and vain....it's anti-empirical. The number of people, throughout history, who've managed to make a living writing about *lazy Sunday afternoons* and such is a microscopic fraction of the number of Morons who set out explicitly to do so. Sure, I'd love to play golf for a living BUT....I'm forever restrained (and redirected) by realism.
And it seemed like that was the entire focus of the book - how to motivate lazy/opinionated buffoons, i.e. aspiring New York Times writers.
Sure some people have indeed made living writing fiction (e.g. Danielle Steele, Greg Mankiw,...) but for the most part commercial writing has been held hostage by *utility*.
And now that the gatekeepers have been obliterated by ebooks and the web....before long there'll be a zillion more aspiring, middling, writers out peddling their paragraphs. If you put them all in a line they would look not unlike those hopeless American Idol auditioners!